Touching hands

"I recently met a beautiful couple holding hands so lovingly as they watched T.V. I thought - married for life? No. Both their spouses had passed away and on meeting at the nursing home, they had formed an instant connection and had been tied together since. 

One thing they did tell me - "we still know how to laugh". That they surely did. 

With an open heart, anything is possible in life, evidently - just as much so if/ when you get to a nursing home".

- Floyd 

 

Many Doctors who work at Atticus visit nursing homes and retirement villages throughout the local area.  We see this as an important part of what we do.  If you are an elderly patient, it is of great benefit if your usual doctor, who you were seeing in the community, can continue caring for you when and if you end up living in a nursing home.  The Doctors at Atticus are committed to the care of their elderly patients, and willing to do this.  The Doctors at Atticus have built up specialised knowledge in the area of aged care, so you or your family member will be well cared for.  We do not consider visiting Aged Care facilities as an "add on" job, visiting after hours and when we can, we consider it to be a CORE part of what we do and wherever possible, schedule regular in hours ward rounds, to achieve excellence in care.  

 

Our Vision

Medical services to the Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) are undergoing rapid change, fortunately for the better.  Atticus Health has placed itself within this.  We not only visit RACFs in the capacity of Doctors, we now provide various additional services such as allied health and Nurse Practitioners.  And, just like within our clinics, we focus on lifestyle and holistic health.  As a consequence of approaching our job here as a team and keeping an open mind we are strengthening the care of residents and consider what we do in Aged Care as revolutionary, rather than evolutionary. 

buddies 

About our Approach

A few important points to remember as you consider medical care within RACFs and our approach -  

1. The importance of an Advanced Care Directive.  It's vital to plan for emergencies so that what happens to you when you're ill, and potentially no longer able to make decisions for yourself, your wishes are still respected.  That's to say, you should be able to CHOOSE what degree of active medical intervention is given to you in the setting of an emergency.  This includes the choice of whether you want to be sent to hospital.  This is what an Advanced Care Directive seeks to achieve.  

These decisions are not easy, and the paperwork, as well meaning as it is, often remains confusing.  In such a case then, it makes sense to meet with your treating Doctor and staff at the nursing home, do discuss things early on, and make sure we all understand each other, so that the essence of your Advanced Care Directive

2. Family involvement and communication.  When you get to a RACF, you may have family or friends who you want to be involved in decision making and be a part of your care.  In the setting of possibly many people being involved then, communication is the key.  At Atticus Health, we strive to engage with families and friends as far as possible, whilst still respecting your confidentially and independence.  We remain guided by you.  It's important also to consider that whilst we engage with your loved ones, our ultimate ambition is to best advocate and represent your needs and wishes and we'll always strive to do this. 

3. Rational Use of Medications.  When you're elderly, it's not easy to decide what medical things are worth doing, and what's not.  For example, if you're life expectancy is short, then do you really need to care about your cholesterol and should you take medication for this?  It's a confronting question, but a valid and common one.  At Atticus, we consider that one size does not fit all.  YOU may, on the balance of knowing the pros/ cons of embarking on an action, may choose a level of medication and medical intervention that YOU feel comfortable with.  And, if at some point, you're not able to make such decisions, then we'll work with your Next of Kin or Medical Power of Attorney to discuss such issues, and decide on a plan that's individual to your circumstance.  One thing is true however, wherever possible, where we can rationalise and minimise your medication - we will.  There is no point being on medications you do not need to be.  Not only is this un-necessary, sometimes, it can be dangerous. 

4. Preventative Health.  At Atticus, just because you're elderly, we're not only going to come to see you when "you're in real trouble".  We want to see you regularly, to keep you as well as you can be, and really still maximise your quality of life.  To achieve this, takes more than pills, it takes time.  It takes human interaction.  We recognise for example, a poor prognostic factor when you get to a nursing home, is isolation - staying in your room/ unit with no interaction with other residents.  Although you may choose to do this, isolation is a major risk factor for increasing dementia and physical decline.  Therefore, one preventative health activity we undertake is to really try to help you get out of your room some times.  To go to meals in a common dining room, to participate in some activities, to have a walk around the facility.  Achieving all of this, is likely to be equally or more important that your medications.  We're here to help. Not force or pressure you, but help, all along, paying utmost attention and respect to your right to choose and remain independent in your choices.

5.  Acute care.  Sometimes when you get to a RACF, when you fall sick - you need help, QUICKLY.  This is especially true if you get an infection.  Some infections can get into your blood, and as a consequence make you really unwell necessitating a trip to hospital.  At Atticus we recognise the value of timely action in particular circumstances.  For that reason, we support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and aim to see you as soon as possible in times of emergency.  Starting antiobiotics early - can be life saving.  

If you know of someone living in a nursing home, and you would like us to care for them, please feel free to enquire about this.  We’d be glad to help and once involved, do our very best job - as a team. 

Some of our partner organisations include

DC better logo     meracare      allity

acsag logosomercare    mercy